Saturday, 16 August 2008

I Am Legend

Got to see I am Legend for the first time on DVD today. The film is engaging and has some great suspenseful moments in a plot that leaves alot of thinking for the mind to do. The standout for me was the incredible effects work on the environments. The antagonists are ok, but the rundown New York is simply amazing, we are immersed in it completely.

FXGuide have a great article on the CG work in the film. They caught up with Jim Berney from Sony Pictures Imageworks who's team pulled off a great piece of visual effects work that I am sure many people watching wont even think twice about - which is all the more amazing.

[image from I am Legend showing some of the CG setup from the FXGuide article]

Here is the trailer (on youtube) showing snippets of the CG work:

But wait - there's more. There is an alternate ending (SPOILER ALERT) which gives us some more thinking to do as well.

Apple Concepts

For Concept Art I am working through some ideas for watches/jewellery and find myself in sketch mode so far. Bringing these to life digitally is the next step, which I am looking forward to. Here is a selection of the scans so far:

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Audio Construction

I have been playing with Pro Tools and I find myself a fair way behind in what I wand and what I can do. It is a fun process though. I find myself making a semi-rhythmic piece that builds something like a wonky engine.

I love the way my MDM is pushing me way outside my comfort zones.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Imagery to big screens

We have been working through options to get a suite of large format 1080p HD 46" screens to show off our students work here at FBE for a coming exhibition. To date we have used our laptops to deliver the content, this time we have 7 screens going for a few weeks and the video and still slideshows dont require the grunt or interaction in this case.

So we have been looking at a variety of alternatives we can connect to the screens starting with the iPod Nano. This along with its cousins like my new iPhone do the job with the Apple tv out connectors (we got the Composite one) but the resolution is only at PAL. This looks ok for most of the video but for our beautiful high-res images doesnt show things off nearly well enough.

So we are looking for HD then, preferably 1080p, but we could perhaps live with less. The advantage that the tiny solid state devices have is that they basically use no power, wont heat up the box they have to live in and can in the future be mounted to the back of the big LCDs themselves.

We have looked at a variety of things in various amounts of detail from PSP, xbox360, PS3, digicams, mac mini, eepc, Mvix boxes, Creative Zen X-Fi, Zune and more.

We have another day of testing and info coming in from suppliers today, hopefully we can settle on something today.

Sites like the GoodGearGuide help broaden the options as well.

[an example of the devices we are after, the Mvix MX-780HD - image from their site]

ProTools & Mbox

I got my Mbox Mini yesterday from Turramurra Music and thus I am Pro Tools LE powered now and can put some extra energy into the Sound Construction course. The feeling of freedom I have now that I am not bound to the labs is great, combine this with the online course I am taking and I feel very flexible in my learning.

This is a model we should be encouraging across the board (education esp uni), build independence, but at the same time increase interaction and communication. Oh and getting the hardware and software in the hands of everyone just seems completely obvious.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

SuperMonkeyBall and Blog redesign

I had to get a 3D app for the iPhone so we can start to explore the capabilities in this regard. As I also wanted the accelerometer in play I grabbed Sega's Super Monkey Ball. It looks like it will be addictive for people who like this style of game - and it is much much more challenging than it first appears. More on this after I get a better look at it over the coming days.


I am keen to redesign the look of the blog a little to better accomodate browsing on things like the iPhone. Previously I wanted to take advantage of all our nice wide desktop/laptop screens - now I might try going with skinny :-)

COFA Digital Techniques

The current task for my Digital Illustration for Concept Art course is a quick exploration of digital techniques inspired by 'apple'. Here are the two sketch and photoshop examples I came up with. I chose a method that builds from sketches as I have found the imagery that use this method really appeal to me.

This, along with the discussions and other parts of the course have been fun so far.

Olympic Opening

The Opening ceremony was completely inspired and made heavy use of technology in a host of ways. The digital scroll was impressive and worked so well with the dizzying array of human participants as well.

[image of the moving boxes from the Olympic Opening from]

I particularly liked the moving boxes, which I thought were so good that they were mechanical. The fact they were human-powered just makes it all the more impressive. They managed to generate quite digital looking effects and motion - like human sized pixels.

For a beautiful suite of imagery from the opening check out's pages - wonderful.

[image of the stunning architecture from the Olympic Opening from]